Making a lifestyle change will take a while before it becomes a part of the everyday routine. Any kind of change takes a lot of effort, so be gentle. Be kind and give yourself the compassion and grace to have some patience.
It took me 11 years to become firmly committed to my health and overall well-being. A journey that began to take shape when my mom died of cancer in 2005.
For my mother, the toxicity of aluminum in deodorant may have been the root cause of her illness. That’s when I first realized, “Companies are not 100% concerned for my well being?! I have to be?!” As long as I am a consumer, I have to understand the effect of my purchases. Meaning, I have to research a product before I consider the purchase, look at the ingredients and see if there are chemicals that may harm me. When I make a purchase, I am actually voting for that product; I am endorsing the company, its production, its effect on the environment, and the community where the company is headquartered… I have to ask myself if the product is something I believe in and can take responsibility for.
Watching my mother die before my eyes for months on end did not make me a health nut over night. Truthfully, I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t in a place where I could instigate change. There was too much going on to understand that my own health was in serious need of attention.
Not only was I dealing with losing my mother, I was facing other stressors as well. I decided to quit my full-time job and was living off of credit cards. I also moved back in with my parents to take care of my mother. My car stopped working. My fiancée told me he wanted to be “a free bird.”
I felt stuck, completely betrayed and abandoned, so I broke off the engagement; Deciding not to share the change of plans with my mother. Then, I was diagnosed with an incurable auto-immune disease. My friends were nowhere to be found. I kept getting sick and developed serious infections. I became highly allergic to one of the prescribed antibiotics and was told my skin would melt off!!! (WHAT?!?!) – thankfully, a ridiculous misdiagnosis! Relatives occupied our home every day. They were talking crap about how little we, my immediate family, did for the care of my mother or how we were doing everything wrong. I could go on, but I think you understand now that sometimes we’re not ready for the change we know we need, that we know is good for us.
What I learned:
After her death I completely broke and fell apart, it became apparent how truly precious I am. I am the only one capable of putting myself back together again. I am the only person who knows what I need. What I needed was some time to pass for things to calm down to be able to reassess my priorities.
When you are too overwhelmed its hard to know where to begin, check in with yourself. Discern your real needs from the wants disguised as one-dimensional comforts. My obligation to myself takes precedence over any immediate form of superficial pleasure, distraction, gratification or anyone else’s frivolous needs. When you feed such compulsions you are giving power to the parts of you that don’t believe your capable of overcoming adversity, the parts that don’t believe you have resilience beyond your imagination. But you do have these powers. Instead, feed the parts of you that know you are prepared and practiced, so you can authentically give more to yourself and to others without resentment.
I feed myself, by taking responsibility for my health and I nurture myself inside and out by creating holistic habitual ways of being. I eat a predominantly plant-based diet, I purchase 80% organic, whole foods, and rarely do I buy processed foods. I take the time to thoroughly read labels. I make sure the products I use on my body are practically edible. I check in with my body several times a day. Little decisions and modifications create intense results. Everything adds up and counts.
My life wasn’t always this way, it was the baby steps I took and nurtured throughout my life that created these changes.
Suggestions – Some baby steps:
- Be your best support! Move yourself through life by tapping into your internal guidance, and be the support you have always wished for.
- Love yourself. And if you don’t know how, simply ask yourself, “If I did love myself, what would I do?” Then do that.
- Then take another step and ask yourself again, “If I loved myself, what would I do?” Then do that too.
Taking responsibility and doing the work integrates healthier actions into your life and moves you forward every day. Taking it moment by moment will nurture a longer lasting needed change!
You can start by feeding yourself delicious whole foods for one meal (if you don’t already). If you do, be a raw vegan for one day and note the difference in how you feel. Fueling your body with nutritious foods is a baby step that immediately tells your vessel you respect it. Your body will pay you forward instantly by providing you the proper nutrients, energy, and wholeness to move confidently toward where you want to be.
“Everyday I put myself first by nurturing and integrating my unique needs.”